With the 2012 football season just a few months away, Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz and his staff took a day out of the office to go learn from some of the best coaches in the business.

The Bearkat coaching staff headed to Houston on Thursday to observe the practice of the Houston Texans.

“We got done watching practice and picked up a lot of good things out here on the practice field,” Fritz said to a group of media members following the practice. “We’re fortunate enough, I really appreciate the Texans allowing us to come out here, and all my coaches came out here as well.”

Following practice and lunch at Reliant Stadium, Fritz and the Bearkat coaching staff gathered in a meeting room and got the opportunity to watch game film from the Texans.

Fritz was at the practice along with members of the Stephen F. Austin coaching staff and head coach J.C. Harper to help promote this years, Battle of the Piney Woods game, which will be played at Reliant Stadium for the third straight year.

“Well, it’s huge for recruiting purposes,” he said when asked about the importance of the game. “All the kids, we’ve done it long enough now, the kids all know we’re going to play a game here at Reliant Stadium, and the people here at the Texans and Lone Star Sports (and Entertainment, an affiliate of the Houston Texans) really treat us first-rate.”

A next chapter in the "Battle of the Piney Woods" football rivalry sees Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin battle at Reliant Stadium in Houston Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.

Crowds of more than 25,000 have packed the lower bowl at Reliant each of the past two years and tickets are going fast.

Battle of the Piney Woods Tickets are now on sale through the university's athletic website. Fans also can purchase tickets at the Sam Houston athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone at Bowers Stadium or by calling ticket office at (936) 294-1729.